Abstract: Judicial review of commercial arbitral awards ensures fairness of the award and justice of arbitration as a whole. Much has been written on judicial review and how it could be further improved, but there has been a paucity of discussion on “role models” that Chinese law could possibly follow in improving its system of judicial supervision of arbitral process. The Dutch arbitration legislation has made significant advances and for that reason this article relies on the Dutch practice as a useful comparator in our discussion of how Chinese law and practice on judicial review of arbitral awards could be improved. At the cusp of the reform of the 1994 Chinese Arbitration Act, such a comparison helps us form a view on whether the Proposed Amendments to the Chinese Arbitration Law (Draft Amended Law) of July 2021 can be regarded as a comprehensive and sufficient measure to develop a proper ecosystem of arbitration in China. The discussion is mainly directed on two issues: the treatment of arbitral awards with foreign elements and the construction of the judicial review procedure, both of which have been the subject of serious discussion throughout the reform process. We contend that the Draft Amended Law is an incomplete step towards improving the legal mechanisms for judicial review in China and explains the steps that need to be taken to remedy the shortcomings.
Keywords: judicial review of arbitral awards; enforcement of arbitral awards; commercial arbitration; Dutch Arbitration Act; Chinese Arbitration Law; proposed amendments to Chinese Arbitration Law
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